But aside from the unusual plot itself, what makes this film especially powerful is the way it manages to show through a wise combination of images how manipulation and control are implemented over people by mass media.
The director of "The Truman Show" Peter Weir employs a set of fine cinematographic techniques to show his deep understanding of the potential of mass media to manipulate and control people, which makes the film so strong in its influence on the audience. With these considerations in mind, we can look in more detail at how the film manages to achieve its effect. In the process, we can compare the films message with relevant messages contained in the film "Chicago" and in a cartoon picture by Peter Nicholson that parodies the naive trust of the audience towards mass media.
First of all, it seems that the main reason why the film proved to be so successful and resonant is that the picture is critical of the popular perceptions and images that dominate our society nowadays. While presenting to us the story of Truman in an allegorical form, the film nevertheless conveys a clear message that invokes in viewers associations with our reality. Basically, what is important in the film is that the world of Truman, despite being constructed in such a way as to mimic reality, is nevertheless feigned. This is evident for example from the scene which shows the short story of the Trumans life and its important milestones. The commentary goes like this: ". . . people were there for his birth . . . tuned in for his first step . . ." In this way, the main hero of the film is under the invisible influence of his spectators, whose demands as of consumers underlie the essence and the plot of Trumans life. Indeed, the support the claim that 5000 hidden cameras are there to observe Truman, a lot of different cinematographic techniques are used. In the film we can see multiple zoom effects and unusual focuses and angles that add to the sensation of participation in a surveillance. In this manner, "The Truman Show" deftly manipulates the perception of reality contrasted to illusion. This apparent contradiction is intensified by Christof who says: ". . . the world Truman inhabits is in some respects counterfeit", but at the same time acknowledges that "there is nothing false about Truman himself".
Also, the contrast between reality and illusion can be seen when we witness in the film how the life of another person may serve as an entertainment for others. This is represented by glimpses of the mesmerized spectators of Trumans life - a man watching the show in the bath, people watching the story of Truman's life in the Truman Bar, a woman so engulfed by the show that she pays no attention to a baby. These comic personages who represent how "the world stood still" are used to issue a warning to the actual audience of the film that aims to dissuade them from unquestioned acceptance of the offered reality. And this warning is warranted, because, as Christof states himself, humanity is willing to accept the reality of the world that it sees and experiences, even on TV. If this acceptance becomes absolute, then those who create this reality obtain almost